Mugabe Vows to Ensure Companies Cede Control to Blacks

Thursday, 15 Aug 2013 11:46 AM

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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has vowed to press on with his policy of forcing all companies to cede economic control to blacks, the BBC reports.
 
"Indigenization" was one of Mugabe’s main issues in Zimbabwe’s July 31 national election, which he officially won with 61 percent of the vote. His long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), won 35 percent.
 
Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Popular Front (ZANU-PF) party won 160 of the 210 seats in parliament.
 
Mugabe, 89, denies opposition claims that the voting was rigged in his favor, even as Human Rights Watch criticized “major flaws” in the electoral process including intimidation of journalists and civil-society activists and high numbers of “ghost” or duplicate voters.
 
According to Mugabe, black Zimbabweans need help because of the discrimination during white minority rule, which ended in 1980 — the year he began his 33-year reign as leader of the country.
 
His policy of seizing most of Zimbabwe's white-owned farms is widely seen as having caused the country's economic collapse that occurred from 2000 to 2009.
 
Mugabe says giving blacks control of the business sector is the next step and that the election results had given him a "resounding mandate" to do so.
 
"We will do everything in our power to ensure our objective of total indigenization, empowerment, development and employment is realized," he told a public rally to mark the nation’s annual Defense Forces Day.
 
Mugabe said indigenization was the "final phase of the liberation struggle" and "final phase of total independence."
 
Foreign-owned companies are already supposed to ensure they are at least 51 percent locally owned — a policy which some analysts say has scared off potential investment from abroad.
 
Reuters reports that the local operations of foreign-owned mining companies have already been targeted, while banks could be next.

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